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Pope John Paul II:
An Intimate Life
The Pope I Knew So Well

by Caroline Pigozzi

      I rarely have the time or desire to read a book cover to cover in one sitting. But Caroline Pigozzi's Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life kept me fascinated from the moment she spoke of the tremendous effort required to seek an audience with the pope, to the very last page, fondly remembering the last of their many interviews. Frankly, I expected the book to be either a drumbeat of a recently passed great person, glossing over his human traits to expound only on his superior ones. Or some sort of an expose, glossing over his superior traits to focus on his less than human traits. It was neither. This is a very intimate look into the politics and machinations of the Vatican and a very personal description of Karol Wojtyla, the boy, the man, the priest, the pope.

The reader sees a very personal study of the motivations and desires that drove him to greatness, fully realizing there is no pretense or sham or gloss covering the facts of his life. We see him, the pope and the person, revealed by the facts of his life and the personal stories he told, the intimate conversations with the author, his actions, public and private. Throughout the book, his motivations for anything he did are apparent. And it seems his only two aspirations were to unify the church and to be faithful to God. Lately we've seen any number of books on the corruption of the papacy and the various popes' attempts to seek perfection by the office. But here we see the office made perfect by the influence of the life of this pope.

The Book

Faith Words / Hachette Book Group
September 2008
Hardcover reviewed from ARC
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The Reviewer

Chris Querry
Reviewed 2008
© 2008